Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I Guess I'm Happy About the Cromnibus?

Usually, some deep, conservative, procedural-correctness malaise comes over me when talking about budget measures, continuing resolutions, looming government shut-downs, and all that. That our chambers of Congress have gotten so polarized that "shut-downs" and, my personal favorite, threatening to default on the national debt, seem like plausible moves over working together is the kind of reality that makes me want to hang up the old blogging-gear and think about going back to writing pornographic fanfic.  There are worse hobbies.

But this is the dawning of the age of the cromnibus--a portmanteau of "continuing resolution" and "omnibus spending bill", which possibly signals an end to the shenanigans (for now) on one hand, but which on the other hand makes me think helplessly of "cronuts".

This vote wasn't entirely shenanigan-free, apparently. Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee were looking to hold the whole thing up for an up or down vote on "Obama and his amnesty--shamnesty, amirite!" but apparently, there was an overwhelming vote for "Jesus, Ted, not everything has to be about you." This bit of maneuvering seems to have allowed for some votes on Obama Administration appointees for different cabinet positions through some kind of procedural magic I do not understand. So--yay?

Well, not strictly "Yay!", no. The bill also loosens bank regulations (like they were so tight to begin with, ahem, 2008).  Warren, Sanders and Whitehouse voted it against it, so I have reason to believe the loosening of bank regulations part is not a good thing.

But hey--no government shut-down! (This is exactly like being glad the puppy did not pee on the rug, tonight.) So I will put this in the "win" column for congress functioning almost like a functional thing. Cronuts for everyone, you guys.


mikey said...

The riders - particularly the two that have received the most opprobrium in the liberal press - are ugly. That's a given. What's funny is that this is how government functioned forever before people other than wonks started to pay attention. But lets think it all the way through. If the Dems don't help Boehner put down the stupid rebellion in his caucus by funding the government for the entire fiscal year, the winner is the Ted Cruz wing of the Derp Party, with all the Sturm und Drang that entails. Boehner needed some concessions, but he was working on the same side as the Democrats to keep power out of the hands of the crazies. So the question is how much is too much?

Swaps are not a hill worth dying on. Swaps took down AIG, but they didn't take down the banking system. That was a mortgage bubble feeding collateralized debt that wasn't close to being tradable quality. The banks collapsed due to excessive leverage, not swaps. So while they're not good, they're not the existential threat we want to pretend they might be. Similarly, the campaign finance regulations are ugly, but they aren't the nightmare that citizens united was. They allow addtional donation limits to wealthy donors, but they require those donations go to national parties, which, with their transparancy regulations actually might serve as a valuable offset to the whole secret SuperPAC structure. None of this is good, but there ARE varying levels of bad...

Vixen Strangely said...

Swaps would still occur in some byzantine fashion not allowed for under previous legislation because that is how these folks think. And the campaign finance stuff is always dodgy because of PACS and other groups (which could all be fronted, or backed, or way-backed and fed through third parties)which might represent different artificial arms of some guy with enough money to create various structures for funneling money to any candidate. The cromnibus is one of the "lest worst" options.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The banks collapsed due to excessive leverage, not swaps.

The swaps WERE excessive leverage that multiplied the effects of all the other leverage, mikey.

And there's never a hill to die on. It's just a death of a thousand cuts, year after year. But the biggest cuts come from the same sources, year after year.

Like the too big to fail banks.